Platycerium alcicorne Desv.

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Platycerium alcicorne

Photo: Bart Wursten
Eastern Highlands Tea Estates, road to Aberfoyle

Platycerium alcicorne

Photo: Bart Wursten
Eastern Highlands Tea Estates, road to Aberfoyle

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Synonyms: Acrostichum alcicorne P. Willemet
Elaphoglossum alcicorne (Desv.) Keyserl.
Platycerium bifurcatum sensu Sim.
Platycerium vassei Poisson
Common names:
Description: Rhizome short, c. 1 cm in diameter, rhizome scales brown. Sterile fronds round to reniform, convex, notched at the base and overlapping, forming at maturity an almost hemispherical mass, 32 cm in diamater, thinly set with minute hairs, becoming glabrous with age. Fertile fronds up to 60 cm long, narrowly cuneate, reduced towards the base into a short and thick petiole, 2-4 times dichotomously branched, divided into rounded to bluntly pointed segments up to 30 × 2.5 cm, subglabrous above, densely set with minute stellate hairs below. Several sporangal areas on the underside of the lamina borne in soral areas on the ultimate and penultimate lobes; initially median on the segment, reaching from margin to margin and down to the sinus when mature, never covering the segment apex; covered with white stellate hairs.
Notes: This species has been listed as extinct in Zimbabwe due to habitat loss and overcollecting. However, the specimen in the photograph was found very high in an old Albizia adiantifolia and it seems rather unlikely that the specimen was planted there. Although the tree was growing at the edge of a tea plantation, it was not particularly close to any buildings or gardens. When we asked the guides at Aberfoyle about this species they were confident that they had seen more specimens in the area. It would be very good to find if more specimens of this species might have been able to survive in Zimbabwe but more investigation is needed to confirm or deny this.
Derivation of specific name: alcicorne: alces: the generic name of an elk, cornu: horn; translating to the common name 'elkhorn'
Worldwide distribution: Comoro Isl., Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, Tanzania, Zimbabwe.
Growth form(s): Epiphyte.
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Image last updated: Friday 20 April 2012

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 188 - 189. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 44.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 13.

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 168.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 301 - 302. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 8.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 96.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 162.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 145 - 146.

Other sources of information about Platycerium alcicorne:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Platycerium alcicorne
Flora of Zimbabwe: Platycerium alcicorne

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Platycerium alcicorne
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Platycerium alcicorne
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Platycerium alcicorne
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Platycerium alcicorne
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Platycerium alcicorne
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Platycerium alcicorne
JSTOR Plant Science: Platycerium alcicorne
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Platycerium alcicorne
Plants of the World Online: Platycerium alcicorne
Tropicos: Platycerium alcicorne
Wikipedia: Platycerium alcicorne

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated Plants: Species information: Platycerium alcicorne., retrieved 24 April 2024

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